When the country is unravelling due to sub-prime mortgage loans, bringing back Peter Mandelson is a pretty big mistake in judgement.
In 1996, people were perplexed how Mandelson, a backbench MP earning just over £40,000 a year, was able to afford a £475,000 four-storey house. It was revealed, two years later, that he had received a secret loan of £373 000 (at Midland Bank base rate, substantially lower than the market mortgage rate) from the MP for Coventry North-West, Geoffrey Robinson. As secretary of state for the DTI, Mandelson's officials were investigating Robinson on two separate grounds. Hence, Mandelson's first resignation.
It's interesting that Justin Forsyth is being appointed as Gordon Brown's new "spin doctor" ... Forsyth is the former head of policy for Oxfam. He probably has a view on Peter Mandelson and aid/trade towards developing countries.
Caroline Lucas on Peter Mandelson: "If there was ever a time to put the high priest of corporate globalisation in charge of regulating our wayward economy, this isn't it. You might as well get Al Capone to run a Young Offenders Institution."
Finally, some reaction to the creation of a ministerial post for "Energy and Climate Change" for Ed Miliband:
- The Guardian
- the think-tank Policy Exchange wonders if the new department will take over international climate change negotiations from Defra?
- the Renewable Energy Association wants Miliband to find ways ways to overcome delays in starting up new wind and marine power projects
- John Sauven, Greenpeace: "Bringing energy and climate together at last reflects the urgency of the threat we face from climate change. The first test of Ed Miliband's credibility will be whether he stops the UK's first new coal-fired power station in over 30 years at Kingsnorth in Kent."